Venezuela Firsthand Report (4/14)

Jay Moore research at
Mon Apr 15 09:06:03 MDT 2002

This is a report from Steve Ellner, an old SDS man at Vermont's Goddard
College in the Sixties, who has lived and taught in Venezuela for many
years.  I'll send along more reports from him (and others) on the situation
as I receive them.  Do people have any specific questions that you would
like to ask of him?  If so, I'll forward them.



It is 2:05 AM and Carmen and I are waiting for President Chavez to arrive to
Caracas. This has really been an incredible day. The return of Chavez to
power was made possible by two things. First a mass of people, mostly from
the poorer sectors of Caracas and other cities, took to the streets
demanding that the democratic institutions and the constitution be respected
and demanding that Chavez's physical integrity be respected. Second the
Armed Forces refused to use repression against the people and announced
their rejection of the way the new government headed by the president of the
nation's main business organization was preceeding. Indeed, that new
government most obviously was trying to turn the back clocks to the way
things were before Chavez came to power. It is really reassuring to see how
a people's will and a group of leaders who have emerged during these three
years of Chavez's government can successfully defeat a bloc of powerful
economic and political interests which have behind them a communication's
media which demonstrated absolutely no professional ethics whatsover.
Indeed, the discussion of the people who support Chavez is now centered on,
among other things, what to do about the media and the need to guarantee
accurate reporting of events. Ok, Carmen and I just thought that you would
like to hear some first hand account of the latest developments in
Venezuela. They certainly reinforce the strong bond that I have developed
over the years for this country and its people. Steve

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